Nico Terol took a big step closer to the 125cc title by taking his seventh pole of the year at Sepang, as his championship rival Johann Zarco ended up a disastrous 15th on the grid.
Zarco has to out-score Terol in Malaysia to keep the title fight alive until the Valencia finale, but he crashed at Turn 11 during qualifying. Although he managed to get his Ajo Derbi back to the pits for repairs, issues continued, particularly with the rear brakes and he had to stop on track to give the bike some more attention at one stage. Ultimately the best he could manage was 15th.
While Zarco was struggling, Terol was flying again, putting in a late 2m13.579s to beat his Aspar Aprilia team-mate Hector Faubel to pole by 0.015sec.
Sandro Cortese completed the front row for Team Germany, with Efren Vazquez (Ajo Derbi), Luis Salom (RW Aprilia) and Jonas Folger (Ajo Aprilia) filling row two.
Behind third row men Maverick Vinales (Blusens Aprilia), Alberto Moncayo (Andalucia Aprilia) and Adrian Martin (Aspar), Danny Kent recovered from a violent morning practice crash to put his Ajo Aprilia in 10th.
Pos Rider Team/Bike Time Gap
1. Nicolas Terol Aspar Aprilia 2m13.579s
2. Hector Faubel Aspar Aprilia 2m13.594s + 0.015s
3. Sandro Cortese Germany Aprilia 2m13.954s + 0.375s
4. Efren Vazquez Ajo Derbi 2m14.581s + 1.002s
5. Luis Salom RW Aprilia 2m14.682s + 1.103s
6. Jonas Folger Ajo Aprilia 2m14.776s + 1.197s
7. Maverick Vinales Blusens Aprilia 2m15.055s + 1.476s
8. Alberto Moncayo Andalucia Aprilia 2m15.272s + 1.693s
9. Adrian Martin Aspar Aprilia 2m15.304s + 1.725s
10. Danny Kent Ajo Aprilia 2m15.590s + 2.011s
11. Jakub Kornfeil Ongetta Aprilia 2m15.888s + 2.309s
12. Danny Webb Mahindra 2m15.892s + 2.313s
13. Zulfahmi Khairuddin Ajo Derbi 2m15.909s + 2.330s
14. Alexis Masbou Caretta KTM 2m15.965s + 2.386s
15. Johann Zarco Ajo Derbi 2m16.209s + 2.630s
16. Marcel Schrotter Mahindra 2m16.233s + 2.654s
17. Louis Rossi Matteoni Aprilia 2m16.373s + 2.794s
18. Giulian Pedone Phonica Aprilia 2m16.601s + 3.022s
19. Harry Stafford Ongetta Aprilia 2m16.638s + 3.059s
20. Jasper Iwema Ongetta Aprilia 2m16.652s + 3.073s
21. Alessandro Tonucci Italia FMI Aprilia 2m17.180s + 3.601s
22. Taylor Mackenzie Phonica Aprilia 2m17.230s + 3.651s
23. Joan Perello Matteoni Aprilia 2m17.443s + 3.864s
24. Josep Rodriguez Blusens Aprilia 2m17.494s + 3.915s
25. Luigi Morciano Italia FMI Aprilia 2m17.530s + 3.951s
26. Jack Miller Caretta KTM 2m17.550s + 3.971s
27. Brad Binder Andalucia Aprilia 2m17.867s + 4.288s
28. Sturla Fagerhaug WTR-Ten10 Aprilia 2m17.941s + 4.362s
29. Manuel Tatasciore Phonica Aprilia 2m18.237s + 4.658s
30. Arthur Sissis TT Motion Aprilia 2m19.203s + 5.624s
31. Farid Badrul Ajo Derbi 2m19.744s + 6.165s
32. Marco Colandrea WTR-Ten10 Aprilia 2m19.972s + 6.393s